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February 2020

Ending the Week

Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, although it has been a rather quiet week we finish with the latest court sentence against Anfi, which has left one ex-owner very happy indeed. We also bring you the latest in the ongoing fraud perpetrated by Solutions SL and the fake law firm CUC Abogados in Tenerife. This will show you the lengths these fraudsters will go to just to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.

We begin with the latest from the Court of First Instance No1, San Barolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, once again it is against Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL.

This is a very interesting sentence as the court has severely penalised Anfi for the taking of illegal deposits during the statutory cooling off period of 14 Days. The client has received an extra 49,535.15€ by the court as compensation on top of the return of the original purchase price of 29,483.77€ which was paid in 2006.

Along with the illegal taking of deposits, the contract contained another infringement of the timeshare law placed to protect consumers, these included the duration which exceeded the 50 years duration laid down by law.

This is one happy Norwegian client of Canarian Legal Alliance who will now enjoy the 79,018.92€ as well as being free from the rising annual maintenance fees.

Inside Timeshare would like to congratulate this client and also to say a very big well done to the dedicated legal team at CLA.

This should leave everyone in no doubt that consumers do have a way out and that there are genuine law firms who do their utmost to ensure justice.

We now move on to the latest in our reports on Solutions SL and CUC Abogados, as our regular readers will know this is just the latest in the frauds perpetrated against consumers of timeshare, holiday clubs and associated products from the “gang” we have dubbed the Litigious Abogados Family.

Since July 2016 we have identified around 100 names used for the law firm, procurators and other firms, these tend to change around every 4 to 6 months with new names and websites. The one thing that is consistent is the websites are almost identical only changing minor details such as the names of the “lawyers” which are always very strange indeed and the photographs of genuine people downloaded from the internet and genuine law firms.

The pictures of the genuine lawyers have been taken from law firms around the world including the USA, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay Venezuela and off course Spain. Two of the best have been the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Argentina handing over his credentials to the Argentinian President and the late 39 President of Venezuela. (See links below)

One of our readers who has was originally “scammed” by Solutions SL who as we know are now working with (possibly the same people) CUC Abogados was asked to pay a “tax” to release his money. He asked for official confirmation of the award and what the payments are for. They sent him a copy of the tax form and also of the cheque.

The cheque supposedly issued by La Caixa Bank looks genuine enough, it is not until a check on the IBAN is made that it turns out to be a fake.

Copy of the “CHEQUE” received by our reader
Result of IBAN check

Inside Timeshare has stated before this is a very sophisticated fraud and a lot of time and effort has gone into developing it to look as genuine as possible. We wonder just how many unsuspecting people have been taken in and swindled out of thousands of euros by these unscrupulous criminals.

Once again we must warn all our readers that no matter how convincing or nice the caller sounds, no matter how genuine any documents sent look, the method of payments by bank transfer to accounts of named individuals, you must do your due diligence and do your homework.

If you need any help or advice on any company that contacts you with the great news that you have been awarded thousands please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Have a great weekend and join us again next week.

Azure X & XP: What is it?

Azure Resorts is yet another of the infamous late Bob Trotta companies under the umbrella of Limora Group. The products sold were the same as those peddled by their sister company in Tenerife, Silverpoint. They operate out of the Golden Sands Resort in Malta and as we reported some time ago they laid off around 70 staff from their sales team. Since then they have launched new products Azure X and Azure XP. So what are these products?

Azure X is a new kind of membership product which uses a “digital leisure currency” called XP, this “currency” can according to Azure be used across all the leisure products offered by Azure. This according to Azure means that members do not have to purchase into each new product that they come up with.

They way they explain it is that weeks from any time of year or even accommodation units can be used across all the classes of their membership. In theory, this gives members access to boats, cars, motorhomes, lodges, cruising and hotels from their “ever-expanding portfolio”.

The duration of membership is 25 to 30 years, yet they claim it is also flexible. Apparently, members who decide to use more XP each year, the membership can be accelerated with the duration and end date being brought forward. They also claim that with Azure X you are in control. The question here is what about availability?

They also claim that members of other products who are happy with what they already have need not acquire Azure X membership. This product was not available to upgrade by members of other products without payment, yet they will accept trade-ins of previous products purchased as part payment.

Over the years we have seen many products similar to this such as Leisure Credits, Monster Credits and of course the original points systems, all have promised so much yet, in reality, they do not deliver on those promises.

As with all these “club memberships,” availability will always be a problem, there will always be more members than what is available on the inventory. To give an example, a resort using the traditional timeshare concept of fixed weeks and apartments, the resort is only able to sell 51 weeks in each apartment, once these are sold that is it, no more new members. By changing to these “virtual currency” systems they can increase their membership base. This is where we end up with that old scenario of “no availability”.

Azure are also still offering other products alongside Azure X & XP membership, these include timeshare weeks, fractional yacht ownership (Silverpoint also sold this product in Tenerife), UK lodges and UK lodges freehold. The last two we have seen as the Excel Lodges Participation Scheme which is very similar to the Company Participation Scheme sold by Silverpoint.

As with all these types of products, there will also be an annual cost, the dreaded maintenance fees, yet Azure does not mention this in their X magazine called WOW Living, which is sent out to all members.

As always, it will be some time before “members” realise they have not purchased what they were promised, then it will be too late!

If you have purchased Azure X or XP Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you and your experiences, use our contact page and get in touch.

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, it has been a rather quiet weekend with not many emails with the usual horror stories of scams and more scams with new names being added to the ever-growing list. At the end of Friday, the following news came in with the latest court cases for that week.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance had a very successful week in the courts, they received 18 rulings in favour of their clients with 4 of these being firm sentences from the High Court.

To explain, a firm sentence from the High Court is where one party usually the timeshare resort has not accepted the ruling of the Court of First Instance and lodged an appeal with the High Court. The High Court can either reject the appeal and send it straight back for execution of sentence or it may hear the case and either confirm the sentence or overrule it. Due to the Supreme Court rulings, it is very unlikely that they will change the original sentence.

CLA Legal Team

Once again it was Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL who had the highest tally of cases found against them with 13 in total. The cases placed before the courts were all the usual infringements, contracts with over 50 years in duration, floating weeks and points systems and not to forget the illegal taking of any payments within the statutory cooling-off period. Contracts were all declared null and void with a total of 689,117.15€ being returned to the happy clients.

Silverpoint came in second place with 3 victories for the clients, again the contracts were declared null and void with the usual variety of infringements, points, floating weeks, length of contracts and the taking of payments during the cooling-off period. In total, the courts awarded 240,687.12€ back to the clients.

Holiday Club Gran Canaria received yet another ruling declaring the contract null and void and the client being awarded 16,310.10€.

The last company is Regency Resorts and Tenelosa SL, with the court’s ruling that the contract is illegal and declaring it null and void, the lucky clients, in this case, will now receive 29,877.15€.

These cases do show that the courts are consistently ruling in favour of the clients and following the rulings laid down by the Supreme Court in the 130 cases which they have heard over the past few years. This should leave clients and timeshare operators that the courts will uphold the law and protect consumers from the type of illegal contracts which have been sold for many years.

Moving on from the courts, it has been noticed that mindtimeshare has not been very active recently, the last post they published is dated 14 November 2019. Now considering that they tended to post on an almost daily basis this lack of articles is very noticeable and we find it to be very unusual.

Could it be that they are now so low on funding that the staff have been laid off?

It was a very rough ride for that particular blog site especially when Alberto Garcia was disgraced, having to resign his role as director and then they lost all their funding from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation).

So could this be the last of mindtimeshare, only time will tell?

It has also been noticed that the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) has improved the articles they are publishing, obviously, this is due to the fact that ECC has now taken control from Mark Rowe.

Under Rowe’s control, the TCA lost all credibility and it became just a wagon to promote his own companies, that is not what the TCA was intended to do when the late Sandy Grey began operating many years ago. It does look as though under the ECC we will see this publication going back to its roots and providing consumers with genuine facts and information. Inside Timeshare welcomes this change and hopes to collaborate with them in identifying the growing number of scam companies.

That’s all for today if you would like further information on your timeshare, whether you have a valid claim, just want to know how to get out or would like to know if a company is genuine then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.